A college music student in upstate New York who was on the cusp of graduating is dead after being found shot near campus, WWNY-TV reports.
Elizabeth Howell, 21, a music education student at the State University of New York at Potsdam, was found lying along College Park Road – just off campus – around 6 p.m. Friday with gunshot wounds.
Medics rushed her to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
On Saturday, police arrested 31-year-old Michael J. Snow in connection with Howell’s death. He has been charged with second-degree murder.
It is not clear publicly whether or how Snow knew Howell, or how police tied him to the crime. The university has said that Snow had “no affiliation with the College, either as a student, employee or graduate.”
After Howell’s body was found, law enforcement issued a shelter-in-place order to the campus community, urging people in the area to lock their doors. Authorities later lifted the order but advised people to travel in groups. Police later said they believe the killing was an isolated matter.
Howell hailed from Putnam County, New York, and was on track to graduate this year from the university’s Crane School of Music, according to Syracuse.com.
The campus, which is about 30 miles from the Canadian border, has canceled Monday classes and other activities because of Howell’s death. A vigil is planned.
“Beth was a cellist who performed with the Crane Symphony Orchestra, and she was an aspiring educator with a bright future ahead of her,” a Facebook post from the university reads. “No words can express the sadness we share as a campus community following this tragic loss.”
Phillip Kramer, a junior at the university, said he and his peers planned to spend time this weekend reflecting on Howell’s life.
“This whole weekend is going to be about mourning. This campus is very good about taking the time to mourn those who have been lost,” Kramer told WWNY-TV.
Snow remains in jail without bail.
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[Feature Photo: Elizabeth Howell/Facebook]